After hiking up Haystack Mountain, we didn’t feel too guilty driving all the way to the pavilion at the summit of Dennis Hill State Park.
Dennis Hill is named for Frederic Dennis, a wealthy doctor from New York City who owned these 240 acres and was part of Norfolk’s “summer society.” In 1908, Dr. Dennis built this pavilion as the Tamarack Lodge Bungalow on the highest point of his property. The bungalow served as a hilltop party space and adjunct to his Tamarack Lodge summer home at the bottom of the hill.
Some time after the land passed from Dr. Dennis’ estate to the State of Connecticut in 1935, the bungalow was stripped down to its fieldstone skeleton. Still, it’s a pretty darn nice picnic spot, and the views of the surrounding countryside (from an elevation of 1,600 feet) are phenomenal.
When I first came here in the 1990s, there was a rickety walk-up crow’s nest cobbled to the roof. This enhanced the view because it got you above the tree line. But the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) got smart and removed the crow’s nest when they replaced the roof. I miss the extra height, but appreciate the improved safety at the site.
No famous people are immortalized in this shot. There were several with me, but they all managed to stay out of sight.
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